When I visit my brother in France our favorite thing to do is sit in a café, enjoy a coffee, and catch up. My brother has lived in Europe for close to two decades now; while its cafés will never go away entirely, I can attest that Europe’s sidewalk establishments are getting fewer and fewer in number. Myriad economic and cultural changes are rendering them, if not extinct, then certainly less relevant. The next’s victim may be Madrid’s Café Gijon, where Hemingway, Truman Capote, and so many others have congregated since the 1880s. The Gijon was where Eva Gardner sometimes hung out after splitting from Sinatra and relocating to Europe in the mid-50s. The cause is more immediate in this instance: the current financial crisis may force the city into selling the portion of the building it owns. We will see what happens.

(image/Roberto Garcia)